In a clear violation of free speech rights, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) has created a new rule that threatens disciplinary action against prisoners who maintain social media accounts through a third party. This goes into effect April 15, 2016. TDCJ has always restricted the speech of the men and women it holds behind bars (for example, forbidding communication between prisoners held in different facilities), but this is an unprecedented step toward restricting the speech of family and supporters on the outside. This rule is illegal and will likely be challenged. The ACLU and Texas Civil Rights Project are aware of the rule change, and if a public campaign is launched, we will post information about activism here.
Facebook and Twitter have been important tools in raising awareness about Rodney’s case. Until we receive more information from Rodney’s lawyers, the Facebook and Twitter accounts associated with this page will be temporarily suspended. Our social media sites were NOT initiated by Rodney Reed and are simply a place for the family and supporters to coordinate our campaign around his case. However we want to make sure that we are not in violation of a prison policy that could result in disciplinary action for Rodney. Check here for updates!
You can read about the rule here: https://www.texastribune.org/2016/04/14/criminal-justice-department-banning-inmates-social/ .
We agree with Rodney’s supporter quoted in the article: This policy is “complete bullshit.”